Windsurfing: staying fit is never easy | Photo: Carter/PWA

Why can't we just increase our core strength by doing stand-up paddleboarding or windsurf as much as possible to stay fit? Health and fitness expert Henrik Beyer answers these common workout questions.

Can't we just do some squats, push-ups, and crunches on the beach (or at home) to increase our fitness and improve our windsurfing performances? Why don't we get a TRX home gym and start doing a full range of different exercises? Isn't it enough?

"In fitness, many roads lead to Rome. Getting fit and healthy can be truly simple or terribly difficult depending on socio-economic factors, health literacy, physical status, and personal as well as professional obligations, etc.," says Beyer, author of "Health & Fitness for Windsurfing."

"The deceptive fitness jungle continues to launch new innovative products and services, and it's easy to be misled and get confused. So it is wise to question the need for a gym."

We all strive for good results when working out, and there and many routes to fitness that seem to be shortcuts. However, considering the fact that even members of a gym often struggle with getting the expected results from their training, buying the latest home fitness gadget, and hoping for better results is, unfortunately, not the best choice for most people.

It would be great if we could increase the level of physical activity in the community by focusing on home workout initiatives, especially when the fitness center network hasn't solved the problem of lack of physical exercise within the society.

A gym is obviously not the answer to all windsurfers. Some sailors have the motivation and willpower to do their workouts at home; others live right next to the beach and can sail almost all year round. However, a larger part of the windsurfing community will need a vast array of equipment, fitness classes, personal trainers and workout partners to stay motivated and have fun while training and sticking to a workout program.

Gyms: know when windsurfers should get a membership

Furthermore, when we include the aspect of working out, not just for general fitness but also for increased windsurfing performance, things get dramatically more complicated.

Squats, crunches, and push-ups using home workout equipment are great for basic level fitness, maintenance training, and windsurfing rehabilitation. The areas that are frequently exposed to windsurfing-related injuries are shoulder joints, ankles, and corset muscles surrounding the back and the abdomen, forearms, lumber spine, lower back, as well as ligaments and tendons.

Increased strength and power in these body areas are vital for handling choppy waters, pumping the sail, doing tricks, increase self-confidence when sailing, and lowering the risk of injury. Could the TRX equipment be a good option for windsurfers wishing to exercise those muscle groups?

“Yes, the TRX suspension training equipment has a clear purpose, foremost to build core strength and stability, which is important for windsurfers. For sailors who would like to try the suspension training equipment, I would recommend TRX crunches, TRX body row, TRX push-ups, and TRX jump squats. These are four good exercises for windsurfers," adds Henrik Beyer.

Doing these exercises can be an important step towards increased strength in key windsurfing muscle groups. When a sailor reaches a certain point of strength and flexibility, he might benefit significantly from increasing resistance in strength training.

That is the moment when it's particularly beneficial to get a gym membership, and get an individually adapted strength and conditioning program. The further up the ladder of fitness the windsurfer climbs, the more important it gets to individually adapt his or her training program, and to train at a gym.

Frances Osorio Rivera is just another kiteboarder. The only noticeable difference is that she rides the winds of her favorite spots with one only one leg.

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